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Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on July 9th, 2013,
by Zane Cagle

20 Killed and Numerous Injured in Holiday Weekend Across Missouri

Posted on July 9th, 2013 by Zane Cagle

20 Killed and Numerous Injured in Holiday Weekend Across MissouriSeventeen people were killed in Missouri crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in car, motorcycle and ATV crashes. As well, there were three apparent drowning’s that are currently being investigated. When I read the press release from the Missouri Highway Patrol, I was not only shocked by the large number of fatalities but the apparent violent nature of the accidents.  Several cars were involved in crashes that involved overturning, striking objects and one even burst into flames.  Two stories that hit home with me personally were the crash at Interstate 40/67 as it is the largest intersection next to my home and of course, the auto accident that involved the death of an entire family in western Missouri. Reading about these tragedies brings great sadness during one of the most fun, most celebrated holidays of the season. These deaths and injuries certainly are not in keeping with the happiness and celebration that we like to think about regarding celebration of Indepence Day.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, at least seven of the people who died in car accidents were not wearing their seatbelts. Two accidents contributed to 8 of the deaths.  At the Kingshighway and Interstate 40 interchange, a car accident killed three men. As well an accident in western Missouri killed a man, his girlfriend and his three children.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol 20 people died, 157 people were injured in automobile crashes, 199 people were arrested for drunk driving, 17 boating crashes, 11 people were injured in boat accidents and 17 people were arrested for drunken boating.

No fatalities were reported on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, however, on Thursday, July 4, there were 7 fatalities. A 25 year old St. Robert man died when his all-terrain vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway, became airborne, struck a tree and overturned in Pulaski County on Hartford Road north of Missouri Highway 28.  The man and his passenger were ejected and the passenger sustained serious injuries.

A 72 year old Macon woman died when she was driving her vehicle across U.S. Highway 36 at Kellogg Avenue and was struck in the driver’s side door by an eastbound vehicle in Macon County. The driver of the other vehicle and two passengers sustained minor and moderate injuries.

A 32 year old Archie man died when he lost control of his vehicle, traveled off the right edge of the highway, returned to the roadway, skidded sideways across the highway and was struck in the passenger door. In addition to the 32 year old man,  his 10 year old, 9 and 8 year old all of Archie were killed. As well as the other passenger, a 22 year old Olathe, Kansas woman died in the crash in Cass County on Missouri Route B at Cantrell Road.

Two people died in crashes on Friday, July 5.  A 45 year old Wright City woman was traveling off the right side of the road, overcorrected, returned to the roadway and began to rotate counterclockwise.  The vehicle then slid off the road, struck a shallow ditch and overturned. The woman was partially ejected and came to rest under the vehicle in the crash that occurred in Warren County on Westwoods Road east of North Strack Church Road.

A 79 year old St. Louis woman died after she lost control of her vehicle due to a medical condition and traveled off the roadway and struck a pedestrian at a bus stop bench. The crash occurred in St. Louis County on  Missouri 180 east of McKelvey Road.

On Saturday, six people died in traffic crashes. A 44 year old Washington, Missouri woman died when the vehicle she was driving ran off the right side of the roadway, she overcorrected causing the vehicle to travel across the roadway and into the median where it overturned on Interstate 44 in Jasper County, four miles east of Carthage, Missouri.

A 24 year old St. Charles, Missouri man died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger failed to negotiate a curve to the left, traveled off the right side of the roadway, overturned several times, and struck several trees.  In addition, the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle sustained serious injuries and the crash occurred in Washington County on Missouri Highway 21 at Missouri Route C.

A 26 year old Belton, Missouri man died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving and it collided with the median and overturned several times before catching fire.  In addition a 20 year old St. Louis man and a 40 year old man were killed in the crash.  Two additional passengers sustained serious injuries. Four of the five occupants were ejected from the vehicle and the crash occurred in St. Louis County near the Highway 40/64 interchange at Kingshighway. The St. Louis City Police Department is investigating the crash

On Sunday, two people died. A 40 year old High Ridge, Missouri man died in a motorcycle accident when the driver failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle began to skid and struck a second vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle was not listed as injured. The crash occurred in Jefferson County on  High Ridge Boulevard east of Antire Road.

A 29 year old Quincy, Illinois man died when he lost control of the motorcycle he was driving and collided with a utility pole. He was ejected. The Boone County crash at the intersection of West Broadway and Westwood Avenue in Columbia, Missouri is being investigated by the Columbia Police Department.

Drowning Deaths:

Two people apparently drowned on July 4 at Smithville Lake in Clinton County. A 44 year old Smithville man was recovered on July 5 near Smithville Lake Access 14 and the investigation continues.  As well, a Plattsburg, Missouri man, age unknown, was recovered near the same location on July 5—investigation continues in both.

One personal apparently drowned on Friday, July 5. The incident occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring area and no other information was available. As well, the investigation continues in this drowning as well.

The holiday weekend officially began at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 and ended at 11:59 on Sunday, July 8, 2013. The Missouri State Highway Patrol worked 358 traffic crashes in which 13 people died and 157 were injured.  The Columbia Police Department worked one fatality crash, St. Louis City Police Department worked a triple fatality crash. Troopers arrested 199 people for driving while intoxicated during this year’s 102-hour holiday counting period.  Last year’s holiday period was a 30-hour counting periods and troopers worked 99 crashes in which 3 people died and 45 were injured.  Troopers arrested 59 people for driving while intoxicated last year. Statewide, in 2012, there were 385 traffic crashes in which 4 people died and 194 were injured.

Certainly, this Fourth of July was longer than usual since for most of us , it was a four day weekend, but 17 deaths seems really high!  We cannot always control the number of accidents as they are by name/nature often, just accidents; but, we can control drunk driving. When I say we can control “drunk driving”, I mean that each of us can do our part to be certain that we are not driving while intoxicated.  None of the accidents listed in the press release indicate if alcohol was involved in any of the injures or the deaths, but certainly, family and injured victims will want to know if alcohol was a factor in their particular tragedy……I would.

What to do if you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident or a motorcycle accident and you are not sure about liability or fault?  Or maybe you are certain of fault but do not know if you need a personal injury attorney.  Sadly, the true indicator of whether you need an attorney has some pretty simple criteria:  If you have been injured or someone has been killed, you need an attorney. The other factor that determines if you need an attorney is if the other party is claiming the accident is your fault—if so, you need an attorney.

As these investigations uncover factors in the cause of the crash, certainly things like faulty equipment will be investigated or should be investigated in the many accidents were operators lost control ie: tire blowouts, faulty breaks, etc.  Sometimes, the city or county investigators will do an investigation but often it requires expert accident reconstruction experts to really get to all of the factors. Various city and county experts are often spread too thin especially during holidays and busy times.  That is why it is important to contact a personal injury attorney right away while the landscape and vehicles are still intact.  Expert accident reconstructionists can examine the roadway, vehicle(s), and the victims’ injuries to gather much needed information in addition to state, county or city investigators.

If you are unsure if you need a St Louis personal injury attorney, we are always happy to talk with you without obligation. Sometimes just knowing your options and having some guidance in the midst of shock and confusion is helpful. Our attorneys are available 7 days a week, toll free (314) 276-1681 or locally (314) 276-1681

Sources:  July Fourth Fatalities, news release. Missouri State Highway Patrol. 7/8/13

Ebbs, S. (7/8/13) 17 die in Missouri crashes over Fourth of July weekend. St. Louis Post Dispatch.